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What was your favorite new thing you planted this year?

 
gardener
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I know the question has been asked what new thing did you plant in your garden this year?  I enjoyed it, and thought it would be interesting to hear the results, and if you did more then one what was your favorite?

I planted several new things this year. I love trying new thing. Having chickens makes it super easy, because if no one likes it, the chickens do, so nothing ever goes to waist.  I have a tie for first place Swiss chard, and longevity spinach.   The swiss chard is new for us.  It was super easy. I started it from seed. Planted the little plants in my wood chip garden behind the green house, and it has grown like a weed ever since. It was one of my first veggies to mature, and is still growing strong.  I will admit we aren't bitter food people, so we didn't love it at first. Now I put it with other stuff, like zucchini and we enjoy it.  The chickens love it and my sister-in-laws and fam all seem to like it.  Seems the more I cut the more grows, so not very many plants has kept everyone in chard.  Not to mention I grew the rainbow variety, and it's beautiful.  
I have been looking into perennial veggies, and longevity spinach came up. I bought a small plant from Etsy (not something I have ever tried before, but luckily it turned out well)  Anyway I got a small plant with a little instruction.  I planted it under my apricot tree.  It has grown well.  We have just started eating it because I wanted to let it get some size on it before we starting removing leaves.  As a plant it has grown well.  It doesn't require much water which is a huge bonus in my book.  I water it heavy about every 10 days or so.  My sister-in-law liked it and wants to grow it, so I'm trying my hand at propagating it.  It's early days yet, but it seems to be doing very well.  Next thing is it tastes good.  It's very crisp so it's a great alternative to lettuce.  I also steamed it and added it to our scrambled eggs.  I don't like slimy, so it still had a little crunch, which believe it or not really was a great addition, nice texture, and taste.  I live in N. California, zone 9b, and for me I will keep growing these veggies, and would totally recommend them.

I also tried to grow Okinawa Spinach.  I like this it's similar to  the longevity spinach in taste. It isn't in the top two because it's a water hog.  For it to be happy I have to water it everyday, at least in the hot part of the summer.  It's beautiful and I will keep growing it too.  It's just not a California friendly as the longevity spinach.  I'm making cuttings of it as well, and it seems to be working.  If it takes I will send some to my aunt in Washington state, I bet it grows like mad there,

I tried to grow Purple tree collards.  Also got them from Etsy.  They started off great, but died shortly after planting.  I recently reordered.  I put one in the ground, and one in a pot.  This time I used root tone, and the weather is still warm, but not scorching hot like it was the first time around.  I think I have had them maybe 10ish days.  So far so good.  Both seem to be alive and it looks like maybe developing little leaves on top.  Time will tell, but I hope the fall weather will do the trick.

Potato onions.  They grew and I got about 3 to 4 bulbs for every bulb I planted.  I can't say how they taste, because I want to replant, so we didn't eat them this year.

Last year I tried to grow artichoke. They died quickly.  This year I was able to keep two alive until a couple of weeks ago.  They grow extremely well for my sister-in-law, who lives in the same town.  They seem to need to be watered everyday.  I bought two plants the other day.  I'm going to plant them in part shade per the advise of a person who grows them successfully in my area.  I hope fall planting and shade do the trick, if not, I will probably not bother.

It has been fun discovering new things.  I'm still at it I just planted broccoli, kale, sorrel, and celery for the first time.  They are all baby sprouts now, but I look forward to seeing how they grow.

I look forward to hearing what new plant you tried, and how it went.
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pollinator
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New things I added this year:

1- cholesterol spinach. We are not excited about eating this one, but it’s ok. It grows really good for us in the shade, which is a major plus. And it doesn’t require much care, plus it’s a perennial for us. So it has lot of pluses going for it. And the sheep love it, so I can always throw the excess trimmings to them to clean up. I’ll keep growing it, though I’m not sure how much we will be eating ourselves.  I like to keep easy, self care foods growing on the farm just in case we need them some day.

2- mizuna. It grew like a weed! Very easy and productive. We didn’t like the taste at all. Threw it all to the chickens. Didn’t even bother trying to sell it. There was no market for it here.

3- chervil.  It was a nice enough herb but not worth the time for us.  I sold most of it to a local restaurant, but it used up too much time for harvesting and cleaning it for sale. I have plenty of other herbs growing, so I simply was not excited enough about this to keep it around. Maybe I’ll try it again later on.

4- And the favorite is…….Aunt Molly’s ground cherry. Tedious to grow because of year around slug issues and feral turkeys. So I plan to set up a table top production bed for it. The plants are quite low to the ground, so next time I plan to try using a grid of some sort to raise the plants higher, making it easier to get the fruits. Fruits are small but very tasty. We loved them. So for us, it’s worth the hassle.
 
Posts: 106
Location: 5,000' 35.24N zone 7b Albuquerque, NM
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Nice thread that helps focus on the positive discoveries, Jen! This year I bought Baby Blue Hubbard Squash seeds at Plants of the Southwest (a wonderful dry climate seed resource). I planted the blue winter squash seeds July 4. They now weigh 1 - 10 lbs each and are gorgeous. They are thriving in a low-moisture, full sun, southern exposure on a 1' tall by 10' long hugelkultur-like berm. The sandy soil is enriched with composted manure and top-dressed with wood chips.

By the way, Jen: what is that white screened object behind your rainbow chard? Are you using that to reflect the summer heat off your chard or for humidity or some other  goal? I'm curious about how people approach climate control in the garden. Thanks for sharing your process.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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The white in the background is the back of my greenhouse.
The chard actually got planted there because I was redoing my veggie garden, and it needed to be planted before I was ready.  I just lucked out that it seems to love this spot.
For me it's just a matter of experimenting.  It's super hot and dry where I live. I just try things in different spots until I find the best spot.  I have my raised bed veggies garden. Some hugel beets some traditional.  Most are full sun, but I put in a couple of arched trellises to give a little relief from the sun.  I have my wood chip garden, which is a food forest want to be. (A space we didn't use, I covered with wood chips and started planning.) And I have a hugelkultur, that is not being used at the moment.  I left the gate open one day and the chickens removed the soil down to the wood.  I just haven't gotten to it yet.
 
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I love trying to grow new things, which often means failure and sometimes disappointment, but this thread wants to focus on the favorites, which is good!

I'm most excited about Okra!  This is the third year I've tried to grow okra, but the first which is actually producing pods.  The plants look pitiful and short, BUT they have been blooming and producing pods.  I have either three or four phenotypes expressed among the diverse seeds I started with.  I've made the decision to not harvest the first pods on any plants, hoping those will contribute seed for next year more adapted to my garden.  I've got high hopes!

I'm growing peanuts for the first time this year as well; not sure whether they are growing nuts underground or not, but the tops and blooms look healthy enough.  Tepary beans are also a first for me.  They grew well, and I've been collecting beans as they dry; looking forward to doing a better job cultivating them next year.
 
pioneer
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I had a packet of free seeds - Melothria Scabra or Mexican Cucumber - technically not a cucumber.

They’ve grown all over the banister on the stairs to our back door. It’s provided a great screen to block out some sun. The fruit are grape sized and delicious straight of the vine. I’ll pickle a bunch next week, Japanese style.  

I would never have known about them let alone plant them. A great discovery.

 
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Hi, I didn't plant anything new this year. (pout) But I planted food for the soul this year. (yea) Pansies, geraniums and daises. The colors make me smile on a rainy, or sad day.

Happy growing

 
pollinator
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Glad that someone else likes the Mexican cucumbers, we were not fans. Not even the chickens would eat them but they are spoiled with plenty of options.

I planted new varieties of chiles, like Orange Spice Jalapenos and Black Hungarian chiles. Both were small and quite hot, but very pretty. But my favorite new thing this year is just eating a different part of radishes. I really like the seed pods of radishes, more than I like radishes, at least raw. So far I've just been eating them raw on a crudite plate, but I am going to try them steamed and salted like you eat edamame.
 
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This spring was my first time ordering from native seed SEARCH, experimented with a few of their offerings.

Ordono peppers were (are) gorgeous, healthy bushes loaded small (1/2- 3/4" inch) peppers that change from purple to yellow to orange to red.  They looked great along the garden paths, and they're moderately spicy.  

Bought blue speckled teparies from them as well, it was my first year trying them, and really just wanted to see how much they can put up with.  Planted them in the hottest, driest part of my garden and they did fine, producing a half-pint of seed without much weeding or watering on my part.  I'm excited to see how they do next year, with a little more attention.  
 
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Su Ba wrote:New things I added this year:



4- And the favorite is…….Aunt Molly’s ground cherry. Tedious to grow because of year around slug issues and feral turkeys. So I plan to set up a table top production bed for it. The plants are quite low to the ground, so next time I plan to try using a grid of some sort to raise the plants higher, making it easier to get the fruits. Fruits are small but very tasty. We loved them. So for us, it’s worth the hassle.



Same! I was expecting them to be off the ground though... not high mind you, but a few inches off the ground. I only got 2 plants to maturity. I'm actually hoping they volunteer.

I have tossed a few close to the apple trees where we have been digging up blackberries trying to take over the world that were being eaten by ants or drying up.

Also tried some tomatillos(sp?). Not going well. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I should probably yank them up, one has kinda perpetually wilty looking leaves, but the other looks better. They are both so spindly looking. Might be a single fruit on the one. I've still got seeds from that packet to try again somewhere else.
 
gardener
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I’ve always got several new things on the go. This year I’m trying Chinese artichoke, Stachys affinis again. Last time they just disappeared; I planted the tubers direct in what is now my fruit jungle. This time I started them in pots in the polytunnel (I wasn’t sure where I was going to plant them out). I planted some in the tunnel, and some outside in my new area in the front garden (along with some dwarf Jerusalem artichokes and some Helianthus strumosus both also new to me). The logic was that since I would need to dig the to harvest them it would help clear the new area of grass. Anyway, this time they are growing well, and I’m optimistic I may get a harvest at least.

(Spellings of stachys edited - bloody auto corrector)
 
Posts: 30
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Never even thought to grow ginger until this year. Out of 7 rhizomes I put in the ground, 4 survived the early part of the season and seem to be growing very well. In late October, we'll see how much ginger tea I'll be drinking...
 
pollinator
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Broomcorn! It is very easy to grow, even in poor clay soil. Whole plants are great for fall decoration, and after the chickens eat the seeds, the stalks can be made into brooms too.
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12 ft tall broomcorn
12 ft tall broomcorn
 
Jen Fulkerson
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I'm so glad you posted this May. I have broom corn in my seed packet ready to plant next year.  I can't wait. Thanks Jen
 
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I grew a row of peanuts, just because someone told me it was impossible in New England!
 
Jen Fulkerson
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I like your style Davis
 
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The favourite thing we planted this year was Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato from the Incredible Seed Company.   They are flavour bombs when picked ripe, THE best tasting fresh tomato I've ever had - although I haven't had many.  They were 10.5 on the brix scale.  

We are in zone 1b-2a in NW Ontario Canada.  We started the seeds indoors in early May and transplanted out to our greenhouse in early June.  

This is definitely a variety that we'll grow again next year, I just have to stop eating them all so we can collect seeds.
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Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato
 
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I did malabar spinach from seed. Started in the house then planted outside in July. It did surprisingly well here in London England.

The kids loved the vibrant purple staining berries. Lots of fun using then as 'paint'. Not so fun removing the stains from their clothes.
 
Zamzam Khan
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Love these... they are also knows as cucamelons. I think i have had enough but my neighbours love them.. so will keep on growing to share the love
 
Renee Belisle
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Is this wild ginger?  

We have some wild ginger growing but our plants are still too immature to harvest.
 
pollinator
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I tried corn, which I have not done well with in the past.  This year I grew "painted mountain," an heirloom variety from Montana.

I did not get a great output for the space, but I was impressed by just what a beautiful plant it was.  I never knew pollen could come in so many colors!
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Corn pollen
Corn pollen
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First day harvest
First day harvest
 
Renee Belisle
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I know, I already posted, but I almost forgot about this too....
I'm excited about everything we grow, new and old, but one surprise this year is acorn squash.  I had been collecting and saving seeds from various grocery store squash, and my boyfriend spread them on our compost heap this spring and wow along with gigantic spaghetti squash, we have acorn squash.  I'm so excited!  We always peel away a generous portion of skin from any produce we buy at the store because of spraying, but it sure is a treat to not worry about that and be able to benefit from the nutrition that a lot of skins offer.  
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Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash
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Spaghetti squash and friend
Spaghetti squash and friend
 
Renee Belisle
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I'm just going to keep answering this because there is so much in the food forest to be excited about.  

Remember these potato seeds that look like little tomatoes that grow on your potato plants? Well, we planted some of the seeds from inside them last spring and finally harvested the potatoes today.  Here they are!  Some pretty blush ones and maybe some with fingerling qualities.  We will save the big ones to replant next spring and maybe eventually get our own strain of Greenstone potatoes growing.  We are definitely trying this again next year, it's like opening up a surprise gift from Nature ❤️
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Potato seed pods
Potato seed pods
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Potatoes grown from true potato seeds
Potatoes grown from true potato seeds
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Renee I'm glad you posted this.  I really want to try planting fall potatoes, but I can't find them anywhere.  I have been seeing potato seeds. I have. Never heard of anyone planting potato seeds, only seed potatoes, so I was leery of ordering them.  Thanks please keep posting, I enjoy learning about new veggies, and love your enthusiasm.  Happy planting
 
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I grew potatoes this year. I was surprised to learn that potatoes are the 1 vegetable crop in the world, but I shouldn’t have been, considering the wide variety of ways you can use them and how nutritious they are. Potatoes are a good source of Vitamins B6 and C, potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, phytonutrients, and dietary fiber. Bake, boil, or roast them, and to enjoy the potato’s health benefits, avoid frying them or loading up with cheese, butter, and bacon bits.
 
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I'm not sure if this is quite along the intention of the question, but for me it was Zinnias. Three of my older kids had all saved seeds from some sunflowers to plant again. At the time my 3yo was just a baby. We had to skip a year due to a move, but finally got to plant the sunflowers for those three kids this year, and so the 3yo did not feel left out, I planted some zinnias for her. I got a super late start and wasn't sure if we would get any flowers this year. We got two zinnias and several sunflowers. To hear her yelling across the yard... "Daddy, I have TWO flowers!" just warms my heart up and makes them my favorite new thing I planted. :)
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Jen Fulkerson
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It definitely counts Matt.  Thanks for sharing
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